Happy Friday! I am ready for the weekend, how about you? It has been a long week for me, mostly all good things, just incredibly busy and each of my daycare kids have been extremely busy too, making for some difficult days. This week had more meltdowns than usual, and some new behavior issues popping up, but in that I was seeing something that amazed me every single day. The forgiveness that many children have, and are willing to freely give to those around them. In my classroom, when a child does something that bothers, or harms another child, they must apologize. We do not force the child who was wronged to forgive them, we say that they can acknowledge the apology by saying thank you, and they can talk about how the two of them may move forward from the outburst. More often than not though, the children will say, “It’s okay, I forgive you.” Then they will offer a hug, and continue playing, as if nothing ever happened.
This is an act that always makes me wonder why it becomes harder for us to let go of grudges when we get older, or why it is so much harder for us to move on from something that someone has done to us, even if they have sincerely offered up their apology. These children will hit, or take a toy, or scream at their friend, and then apologies happen, and forgiveness comes to them easily and naturally. Their forgiveness seems to be endless, then they quickly move on from the issue. When did we lose this focus? When did many of us decide that holding grudges is something better than letting go? I think many of us should take a step back and think about how it would feel for us to let something go, and give forgiveness and pray for those that harm us. The world around us might be a little different if we shifted our mentalities.
Some verses today about forgiving:
Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’”
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
All of these verses talk about needing to be able to forgive those, because God has forgiven us. We can again look to children to see what their example is. There are definitely times when children will hold grudges against those that have wronged them, however it is often that children are extremely quick to forgive their friends, neighbors, teachers, siblings, parents, etc. Jesus tells us to be more like the little children, and this week we have been covering the different aspects of allowing our faith to become more child-like and the different components that entails. Listening, trusting, seeking comfort, loving, learning, and today is forgiving like a child.
Today I challenge you to forgive someone who wrongs you; let go of the hurt that they may have intentionally or unintentionally inflicted upon you. Remember that we are all sinners and God forgives us for our sins against him, over and over, and so we should forgive those around us. Try to be more like the children, and move on quickly from a dispute that is not constructive to either party involved, and seek first God and a relationship with him and his son Jesus.
A song for today is “Forgiveness” by Matthew West. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI